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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants
SJR: 0.332 SNIP: 0.491 CiteScore™: 0.89

ISSN Print: 1050-6934
ISSN Online: 1940-4379

Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

DOI: 10.1615/JLongTermEffMedImplants.v16.i2.70
pages 179-184

Manufacturing Imperfection of a Locking Plate Screw Hole: A Case Report

Christopher A. Radkowski
Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA
Ryan W. Simovitch
Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA
Robert D. Zura
Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Box 3389, Durham, NC 27710, USA

ABSTRACT

Plate and screw fixation devices are essential in the orthopaedic surgical management of various fractures. Production of these devices has been nearly perfected, with few manufacturing defects reported. Assuming that all implants have been machined properly may cause a surgeon to overlook a manufacturing defect and may potentially result in a poor patient outcome. We report a case of the imperfect manufacturing of a less invasive stabilization system (LISS) plate screw hole. This resulted in a loss of fixation of a single locking screw to the plate in the treatment of a distal femoral fracture. Prompt recognition of the defect helped avoid a potential adverse outcome for the patient. When these issues arise, open dialogue with industry is crucial to promptly identify a solution and enhance patient care. This case highlights the manufacturing company's outstanding quality control and prompt solution of such an occurrence. It is the purpose of this report to raise surgeons' awareness of potential manufacturing problems with implants and prevent negative consequences as a result.